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US move to reinstate Afghan Adjustment Act draws applause

AT News

KABUL – The reintroduction of the Afghan Adjustment Act in the US Congress has been welcomed by refugees International and World Relief – a bipartisan legislation which would grant permanent legal residency to 70,000 Afghans who were evacuated to the US following collapse of former Afghan government.

In a statement issued on Saturday, Refugees International expressed their support for the bill, emphasizing that it would offer a faster and more secure pathway for Afghans to attain certainty about their futures. The organization believes that this legislation is crucial in enabling Afghans to focus entirely on rebuilding their lives. They urged Congress to pass this legislation, underscoring the importance of supporting those who aided the US mission abroad and are now contributing to their communities in the United States.

Yael Schacher, the Director for the Americas and Europe at Refugees International, highlighted the significance of this support for Afghan women, whose lives were profoundly impacted by the US presence in Afghanistan. Schacher stated that Afghan refugees have endured immense losses over the past two years but still possess a strong desire to contribute and make a difference if given the opportunity.

Similarly, World Relief commended the move and acknowledged the Afghan nationals who faced imminent persecution under the Taliban. The organization stressed that many of these individuals risked their lives in support of peace and stability, working alongside the US military, diplomatic missions, and non-governmental organizations. World Relief has been actively assisting Afghan refugees, having partnered with churches and communities to serve over 6,000 individuals who fled persecution since the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban.

Myal Greene, the president and CEO of World Relief, stated that Americans from all walks of life have warmly welcomed their Afghan neighbors. The Afghan Adjustment Act presents an opportunity for Congress to demonstrate the American public’s commitment to Afghan parolees by allowing them to apply for permanent legal status. This would alleviate the fear and stress associated with living in legal uncertainty.

According to World Relief, over 70,000 Afghans were evacuated to the US in the weeks following the fall of Kabul two years ago. Many of these individuals are still in a state of legal limbo, with their parole and work authorization nearing expiration. The Afghan Adjustment Act would enable Afghans with parole status to apply for Lawful Permanent Resident status, bypassing the arduous and overwhelmed legal processes for asylum or Special Immigrant Visas.

World Relief expressed gratitude for the bipartisan leadership in both the US Senate and House of Representatives, emphasizing the collaborative efforts of Congress in devising sensible policy solutions. They called on Congress to promptly pass the bill into law, acknowledging the voices of Afghan allies and the countless individuals who have wholeheartedly embraced their new Afghan neighbors. Local churches, in particular, have stepped forward to foster communities of love and hospitality to receive Afghan refugees.

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